South Florida

‘Big Sisters' Relationship Still Going Strong Long After Mentorship Program

A young woman and her mentor have special connection

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Lucia Solano met her "Big Sister" a decade ago when she was in ninth grade in high school, and ten years later, their friendship is still going strong.

Former Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel was Solano's mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters. 

"She was so motivated for herself but also how much she loved her family, her siblings and her mother," Zabel said.

Solano wanted to be a lawyer so the two had a special connection, which has since blossomed into a friendship outside of the mentoring program. 

"Being a first-generation college student, it was kind of hard, like my mom didn't know the whole process, but my sister did, so she kind of guided me through that, so it's meaningful for everything I've been able to do," Solano said.

Since 1904, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been empowering our communities by matching volunteers with young people to foster success, like Zabel and Solano.

"It just warms my heart because there are so many relationships, so many friendships that have lasted over the years and the impact of mentoring is not a one and done, it's literally a family relationship," said Gale Nelson, the president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Miami.

After graduations and former careers, the two women are now entrepreneurs and give each other business advice. Solano is the owner of 360 Panoramic Entertainment and Zabel has a dispute resolution services company. 

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